Tanu Shree Singh, PhD, Author
Sandhya Prabhat, Illustrator
Magination Press. Fiction, Jun. 23, 2020
Suitable for ages: 4-8
Themes: Mothers, Parental illness, Depression, Hope, Love
Opening: On a night when the moon shone and little specks of light danced on the ceiling, Ani Lay awake. “It’s dark,” he said.
Book Jacket Synopsis:
Ani’s stuck in a dark cloud because his mother hasn’t been home. His friends and family try to brighten his mood, but nothing helps. When Mama finally comes back, but with her hair missing, Ani’s light gets brighter and brighter, chasing away his darkness. The unconditional love between Ani and his mother shines through as the two enjoy their precious time together, whether it’s forever, or just for now.
This sensitive, hopeful story will help kids explore their sadness when a close family member is undergoing medical treatment, while highlighting sources of light that can bring stability during uncertain times. It is also a terrific resource for anyone who wants to understand the ups and downs of coping with a parent’s illness.
Why I like Ani’s Light:
Ani’s Light is a realistic and heartfelt story about a boy dealing with his mother chronic medical illness. I am thrilled to share this book with you because I’ve only reviewed a few picture books about a parent dealing with cancer. Unfortunately, there need to be more books. This is a good book to have in your home library.
I love Tanu Shree Singh’s brevity of words and her lyrical text. It is enough to know that Ani’s mother is gone and he is very sad. Reader’s only know when she returns home that “Mama’s hair is gone.” This book could be used for many other medical issues (including COVID) that occur among family members, including grandparents.
I like the contrast between darkness and light, which Sandhya Prabhat uses beautifully to show the dark cloud surrounding Ani. But, when his mother returns home a cloud of light envelopes mother and son, and Ani is hugging his mother — his source of light — and offers to shave his head. The world is once again full of color. She sets the story in India. Just look at that gorgeous book cover!
My favorite line is when Ani’s expresses he was scared she’d never come back, and his mother responds “I’m here now and so are Dobby, Nani and your friends.” “As long as you let others love you,” Mama said, “you will be okay.”
Resources: Ani’s Light includes a Note to Parents and Caregivers explaining ways to help a child through a parental illness. It is written by the Singh, a professor of psychology. She says it is important to honest. It’s okay not to know all the answers. And it’s important to help kids deal with their emotions. A good book to have in a home or school library.
Tanu Shree Singh, PhD, is an assistant professor of psychology in the Department of Higher Education, Haryana, India. She completed her studies in positive psychology at Maharshi Dayanand University and writes extensively on issues related to parenting. Her passion for reading and getting more children to read led her to set up two libraries in Faridabad and Tirthan Valley. She lives in Faridabad, India. Visit her on Twitter @tanu75 and Instagram @tanu.shree.singh.
Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books (PPB) with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.
*Review copy provided by Magination Press in exchange for a review.
21 thoughts on “Ani’s Light byTanu Shree Singh”
Thank you so much for bringing my attention to Ani’s Light. The cover itself with that worried face drew me immediately in and your description of the light and dark is so evocative that I am adding this book to my list. I love the idea that “children’s book heal” and look forward to reading more of your reviews and reading these books you recommend!
I am so happy you enjoyed the review. It is beautifully written and can be used with children for many different chronic illnesses.
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Wow! This sounds like a lovely, powerful, and important book, Patricia. I’m glad you featured it. I think it’s important for picture books to reflect all kinds of life challenges for children as well as the joys of life. They are not immune to the world’s pain or the pain associated with illness of a parent. And its good for them to have books that help them identify and articulate their feelings.
So well put! It is important for books like this be made available for kids dealing with life challenges. I love that it can be used for other illnesses.
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Looks like a special book to help children understand a family member´s illness. Thanks for showcasing it.
You are welcome! I was so happy to review this book as there aren’t a lot of books out there dealing with parents with cancer.
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I love your favorite line. How we need picture books with such themes in these uncertain days. Thank you, Pat.
Yes, you know how I’m drawn to stories like this that help kids and families through tough times!
I’ve known many kids and families going through this exact medical crisis. I hope they and others will find comfort and understanding with the story. Thanks for featuring this one.
You are welcome. Wish this book was available many years ago when our grandkids went through a similar situation with their mother.
Gosh, this sounds sweet. Will look for it. Thanks, Patricia.
The story is very simple, but I know you’ll fall in love with the illustrations. Love that it is set in India.
This sounds like such a lovely and needed book! Thanks for highlighting it!
You are welcome. It is a needed book for families dealing with illness.
What a powerful story and your favorite line- “As long as you let others love you,” Mama said, “you will be okay” really spoke to me as well. I’m adding this to my TBR list. Thank you!
That line is so beautiful and also brought tears to my eyes. I’m glad you loved it as much as I did!
Beautiful premise for a tough subject. Thanks for the review.
It is a tough topic for children, but as you know books help families talk about health issues.
Tough subject, but it sounds like a beautiful book. Unfortunately, I can think of too many children who could use this book – and more like it.
This is a beautiful offering. I haven’t found many books on family members with cancer or other chronic illnesses. So happy to see this one.